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A Parrothead's peek inside the new Margaritaville Resort Orlando

  • It's five o'clock somewhere

    ...though at the new Margaritaville Resort Orlando, they may as well just fix the clocks permanently. The long-awaited, 184-room hotel recently enjoyed its grand opening, blowing into Kissimmee's tourist corridor on some 300 acres of well-placed property mere minutes from the Disney realm. It's not just guests who'll be partaking of Jimmy Buffett's signature lifestyle brand, though. Now you can actually move in. Part of this $800 million resort, entertainment and water park complex includes what will eventually be a neighborhood of 700+ cottages. What's the experience for hotel guests (and those residing on streets like Fins Up Circle)? Grab yourself a drink and have a look.

    Photo courtesy of Ben Van Hook

  • Blew out my flip-flop

    ...stepped on a pop top. And if you're not sure what a pop top is, you'll find one at the base of this 14-foot flip-flop sculpture in the resort's main lobby. Breezy pergola'd sitting areas, palm trees and parrots abound.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Lost your shaker of salt?

    Hint: it could be on the ceiling. The lobby's sparkling chandelier is comprised of 313 margarita glasses. Live entertainment in the form of stilt walkers, musicians and more are on hand to serenade guests as they arrive, along with welcome cocktails and a clear view of the expansive pools out back.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • An island state of mind

    Details that help guests sink into a vibe that's worlds away from home or office are everywhere, but little more than sun and a cocktail is needed at the lagoon pools. Near-future plans call for an additional oasis – this one for adults only. 

    Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Resort Orlando

  • Changes in latitudes

    They often result in changes in attitudes. Something the folks here are counting on. And if the sight of this beachy, zero-entry pool doesn't lower the blood pressure on sight, guests can hail a server or stroll up to the Salty Rim pool bar for some extra help with that attitude adjustment. 

    Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

  • Welcome to the Fins Up Beach Club

    A neat feature of the lounge chairs at Margaritaville? Flip-up sun shades that allow for reading, or simply respite from the wonderful, warming, but potentially relentless, Florida sun. A first-day burn is a Florida tourist's calling card; remember your sunscreen. 

    Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

  • Growing older, but not up

    Even before the resort's 12-acre Island H2O Live! water park opens in spring 2019, kids (including the tall, old ones who pay for everything) are taken care of. Not just with cornhole – also available in the lobby just outside the hotel shop! – but the Parakeets Kid's Club and teen center with games, arts and crafts and activities appropriate for each age group.

    Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

  • Euphoria

    It's the resort's upscale dinner option with an open kitchen and a focus on fresh seafood and grilled fare. The bar, which offers small plates as well, had a few takers before noon on the rainy day we visited, where Sam was busy mixing up a top-shelf variety of the resort's eponymous beverage. 

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Boat drinks

    These cute, sample-size margies are ideal for a couple of sips, but standard pours are the norm at Euphoria, where the menu includes classic, mango-chile, coconut, and honey-ginger varieties to name a few. Can't decide between a cold beer or a margarita? The Shark-A-Rita gives you both, blending Landshark Lager into the mix. 

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Mother ocean

    You can connect to her inside and out. Beachy touches – from island-inspired wall art to comely boat-cleat cabinet pulls – ensure full immersion into the island lifestyle. Popular SiriusXM channel Radio Margaritaville is the resort's official soundtrack. 

    Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

  • A pillow's worth a thousand words

    Or a few at the very least. Throw pillows aren't the only touches you'll find emblazoned with the lyrics of Jimmy Buffett songs. Lines familiar and geek-level are everywhere from lobby to bar to shop to restroom. Guests will have fun naming the songs, or perhaps singing the follow-up lines, as they explore. 

    Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

  • Guests with a Caribbean soul...

    ...and a credit card they can barely control can bring it here and bestow upon themselves (and their sad, cold loved ones back home) a bit of Margaritaville they pack up and carry off site. No shirt, no shoes, no problem – which is actually on one of the T-shirts sold here.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Swag from the subtropics

    You'll find all that you need here, from tumblers to keep your drink cold for hours (seriously, those Tervis products are amazing!) to beach towels, to branded hooks on which to hang them – even signage with instructions on how best to live the Margaritaville lifestyle.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Wonder why you ever go home?

    Parrotheads won't once they move here. The Margaritaville Cottages (some less "cottagey" than others and downright palatial) have already sold out Phase One, Sunset Cove, and are now moving the homes of Paradise Cay. Residents here enjoy all the same perks as hotel guests and can use all the amenities. Many buyers are second-home owners who plan to rent the spaces when they're not in town. So, even if you can't get in on the ground-floor prices in the low $300s, you may be able to swing a stay. 

    Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Orlando Resort

  • Buffett in the backyard

    Margaritaville Cottages that border the property's expansive lake have small pools beyond their patios. Elsewhere, buyers have the option of adding a branded hot tub to their backyard slab. We predict entire hot tub block parties in the near future – unless that's against the HOA rules...!

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Beyond Margaritaville....

    In addition to the St. Somewhere Spa, the water park and other soon-to-come features, Margaritaville is set to be a one-stop location for dining, shopping and entertainment with Sunset Walk at Margaritaville. Just outside the resort doors, this complex will feature some 200,000 square feet of retail space, a 12-screen dine-in movie theater and a host of names not only guests, but locals, will be looking to frequent.

    Photo courtesy of Ben Van Hook

  • Frozen concoctions

    If there's anything that unifies Buffett fans – and just about all tropical vacationers – it's these. Whether leaded or virgin, they could easily supplant the pineapple as a symbol of welcome and hospitality, particularly amid an entire resort conjured from the mind of a man whose music so oft embodies escapism. 

    Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Resort Orlando

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